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Addressing The 'Free' Issue

I had hoped not to have to go into this, but considering the outpouring of opinion in G Fan's Fanpost concerning the ouster of 'FreeBradshaw' I have to express my feelings. Largely, this is not about 'Free,' but really about the type of community being aimed for here at Big Blue View.

Let me say that I respect the opinions of everyone who has had something to say on the subject. I also happen to respect the 'positive' contributions 'Free' has made over time both here and at other sites I run here at SB Nation.

To be honest, that is what this entire issue is about. Respect. The smartest thing anyone said in any of the comments in G Fan's post happens to be the very last comment I read there, by Shofner85.

If we can all learn one thing from the bannings ...

it is that all we are offering on BBV is our "opinions". When guys start falling off the rails is when they think "my opinion > your opinion" or worse, "my opinion = fact".

Exactly. Bravo, well done and thank you very much, Shofner.

This site was built to be a 'community,' and it functions much better when people remember that. If I have said it once I have said 100 times. We are all friends here, and we need to treat each other that way.

My opinion is precisely that, my opinion. In some cases I might have a little inside info, but usually I'm just saying what I believe is right. So are each and every one of you. My opinion is not more valid than yours, and yours is not more valid than anyone else's. I have a right to what I believe, and a right to express it. You have the right to agree or disagree, and to express it. That is what the site is here for -- the sharing of opinion, the discussion and going through the ups and downs with a team we all feel passionately about.

What no one here is going to be allowed to do is belittle the opinions of other people, especially of other Giants fans. Commenters have the right to disagree with your opinions without being insulted. Shofner is dead on when he says that the problem begins with the "my opinion > your opinion" or worse, "my opinion = fact" attitude.

Yes, this is my site. I have said before and will disclose again that I now make my living from Big Blue View, SB Nation New York and Pinstripe Alley. I don't wish to dictate, I don't wish to tell people they can't disagree, I won't tell people they can never curse (I'd like to, but sports are emotional and I get that), but I do wish to try and maintain the civility and intelligent discussion that drew many of you to Big Blue View in the first place.

This site, however, is also your site. I can't make a living if no one reads and no one comments. When we degenerate into insults and saying the same things over and over and over because "I'm smarter and I have to win this argument" that does nothing to improve the site or add to the enjoyment. Make your point as clearly as you can, with facts or examples to back it up, let other people have their say and at some point agree to disagree. That's all I have ever asked.

Perhaps I have made an example of 'Free.' I won't get into the specifics, I just don't think that's the right thing to do. I certainly did not intend to create this type of firestorm. I have heard those of you supporting him. I have also heard those of you who have, for months, been complaining about the tone of the comments becoming increasingly nasty.

For now, all I ask is that everyone try to remember that we are all on the same side, we are all Giants fans. So, we're all friends here.

[By the way, I debated leaving this post open for comments but I think most everything has been said over in G Fans' Fanpost. Feel free to e-mail me at bigblueview@gmail.com if you have any thoughts you would like to share on this.]